Independent Projects

Generating Ideas for a Project -

Getting started Explore the topics list Visit online journals for ideas

Preliminary Proposals

You and your project partner should list questions or phenomena that are of mutual interest and may be subject to an experimental investigation. At this stage in planning, listing 3 potential project is expected. Once you have one or more potential projects in mind, go to the library or search the databases using the techniques you learned. Is there literature on the subject(s) that you are considering?

Your preliminary proposal should consist of the following for each potential project:

In conference with your instructor, the project list and the scope of a given project will be narrowed

Format for Final Proposals


Materials and Methods

Literature Cited

List the references you cite in the introduction. References should be original literature. Textbook citations are not sufficient.

Proposals, both the preliminary proposal and the revised "final" version should be written jointly by you and your project partner. One proposal per group. The final proposal must be done on a computer.

Project Procedures

1. You will be required to submit an acknowledgment that you have read and understand the rules for students working in research labs included at the end of this document before you are assigned a work area. Please respect the work of others; do not disturb other groups' work or borrow materials without permission.

2. All equipment and supplies are to be checked out from the Biology Department storeroom. A written request for materials should be signed first by your instructor and then taken to the storeroom manager. The storeroom manager will sign out materials to you by keeping a card file with your name and a list of items that are borrowed. Please return items as soon as you are finished with them. This is particularly important when you check out chemicals. Please return chemical supplies as soon as you have made the solutions for which they were required. When your project is completed, return all items (clean and dry) to the storeroom where they will be checked in. All project materials must be returned to the storeroom before oral reports are given.

3. Each project group must keep a notebook in which all records are made. All procedures, data, observations, calculations, and any information that is part of your study must be recorded in this notebook. The project notebook can be pages inserted into your laboratory notebook or a separate notebook just for the project. This laboratory notebook should contain your original notes, no recopying. The notebook is the product of both members of the project team and must be submitted with one of the project papers. This notebook should include the following:

You should consider your notebook as a work in progress. As a general rule DO NOT RECOPY notes. Try to take notes in an organized manner. With practice your organizational skill will improve.

4. Each member of a project pair will write a project paper. This paper is to be written independently by each member of a pair; this includes the analysis of data, the interpretation of results, and drawing of conclusions. Project papers are written in the form of a scientific paper. The format of these papers follows that used in Biology 109 last semester. PLEASE REFER TO pp. 7-18 of your Biology 109 lab manual or use Bio 109 on-line help.

The project paper and notebook are due on the last day of classes.

Edited: 1-15-09
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